What we're about

Welcome! Looking for a local book group in the NW3 area? Then come along and join us, a friendly group of book lovers based in and around the area. We are a new group starting up in Belsize Park. Meeting on the last Wednesday of the month at 8pm, to discuss a specific title. Currently we meet in Martha's Bar, which is the downstairs function space at The Washington Pub on England's Lane - Push on the secret door in the bookcase at the rear of the pub to find the stairs!

Please note: Although we have taken our name from the bar, this group is not run by The Washington, it is only the venue in which we meet. Hence all inquiries should be made directly through this meetup page, thank you : )

Upcoming events (3)

Book Discussion - The Milkman by Anna Burns

Martha's bar at the Washington pub

Head to the back of the pub and push through the door opposite the loos disguised as a bookshelf - we'll be downstairs :) Come along and join us for a drink and chat - new members always welcome so don't be shy, we're a friendly lot! We'll have a fun, informal and stimulating discussion about our thoughts on the book. If anyone would like to read aloud a sentence or paragraph that they found particularly striking you are more than welcome. At present there's no particular structure to the discussion, but it's always proven to be juicy so far, and we're very open to ideas as the group evolves. Hope to see you there! - - - - - The Milkman by Anna Burns In this unnamed city, to be interesting is dangerous. Middle sister, our protagonist, is busy attempting to keep her mother from discovering her maybe-boyfriend and to keep everyone in the dark about her encounter with Milkman. But when first brother-in-law sniffs out her struggle, and rumours start to swell, middle sister becomes 'interesting'. The last thing she ever wanted to be. To be interesting is to be noticed and to be noticed is dangerous. Milkman is a tale of gossip and hearsay, silence and deliberate deafness. It is the story of inaction with enormous consequences.

Book Discussion - Grief is a thing with feathers by Max Porter

Martha's bar at the Washington pub

NB thanks to a couple of members who pointed out that an adaptation of the book is playing at the Barbican in the spring: https://www.barbican.org.uk/whats-on/2019/event/wayward-productions-grief-is-the-thing-with-feathers Head to the back of the pub and push through the door opposite the loos disguised as a bookshelf - we'll be downstairs :) Come along and join us for a drink and chat - new members always welcome so don't be shy, we're a friendly lot! We'll have a fun, informal and stimulating discussion about our thoughts on the book. If anyone would like to read aloud a sentence or paragraph that they found particularly striking you are more than welcome. At present there's no particular structure to the discussion, but it's always proven to be juicy so far, and we're very open to ideas as the group evolves. Hope to see you there! - - - - - Grief is a thing with feathers by Max Porter n a London flat, two young boys face the unbearable sadness of their mother's sudden death. Their father, a Ted Hughes scholar and scruffy romantic, imagines a future of well-meaning visitors and emptiness. In this moment of despair they are visited by Crow - antagonist, trickster, healer, babysitter. This self-described sentimental bird is attracted to the grieving family and threatens to stay until they no longer need him. As weeks turn to months and physical pain of loss gives way to memories, this little unit of three begin to heal. In this extraordinary debut - part novella, part polyphonic fable, part essay on grief, Max Porter's compassion and bravura style combine to dazzling effect. Full of unexpected humour and profound emotional truth, Grief is the Thing with Feathers marks the arrival of a thrilling new talent.

Book Discussion - The Tobacconist by Robert Seethaler

Martha's bar at the Washington pub

Come along and join us for a drink and chat - new members always welcome so don't be shy, we're a friendly lot! Head to the back of the pub and push through the door opposite the loos disguised as a bookshelf - we'll be downstairs :) We'll have a fun, informal and stimulating discussion about our thoughts on the book. If anyone would like to read aloud a sentence or paragraph that they found particularly striking you are more than welcome. At present there's no particular structure to the discussion, but it's always proven to be juicy so far, and we're very open to ideas as the group evolves. Hope to see you there! - - - - - The Tobacconist by Robert Seethaler From Robert Seethaler, the author of the Man Booker International shortlisted A Whole Life, comes a deeply moving story of ordinary lives profoundly affected by the Third Reich, in the tradition of novels such as Fred Uhlman's classic Reunion, Bernhard Schlink's The Reader and Rachel Seiffert's The Dark Room. When seventeen-year-old Franz exchanges his home in the idyllic beauty of the Austrian lake district for the bustle of Vienna, his homesickness quickly dissolves amidst the thrum of the city. In his role as apprentice to the elderly tobacconist Otto Trsnyek, he will soon be supplying the great and good of Vienna with their newspapers and cigarettes. Among the regulars is a Professor Freud, whose predilection for cigars and occasional willingness to dispense romantic advice will forge a bond between him and young Franz. It is 1937. In a matter of months Germany will annex Austria and the storm that has been threatening to engulf the little tobacconist will descend, leaving the lives of Franz, Otto and Professor Freud irredeemably changed.

Past events (39)

Book Discussion - The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

Ye Olde Swiss Cottage

Photos (5)